Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Android to have a new camera API with RAW support

The new Nexus 5 has a better camera than old the previous Nexus, but some still feel Google has not done enough. But... what if the limiting factor isn't exactly the camera hardware but it's software? It looks like Google is doing a complete rewrite of Android Camera API. A rewrite that was expected to pop up in the latest Android 4.4, but that was pulled just a month before launch because "it wasn't ready".

It makes sense... 5 years ago a camera on a smartphone was nothing more but an afterthought, something you had to use in emergencies, but that had no hope of competing with a dedicated digital camera. Today, most users use their smartphone cameras as their main (and often only) cameras - and the software behind the scenes need to be coded according to that.

The new Camera API for Android will introduce things like RAW image support, face detection, per-frame control of capture hardware and post-processing parameters at high frame rates, and more. All we have to do now is wait for it. The big question is... will Google introduce this new camera API as a 4.5 version, or silently in 4.4 KitKat (or make us wait for it until Android 5.0)?

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